FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

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FZ-10
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FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by FZ-10 » Thu May 29, 2014 4:33 am

If you're unsure of the awesomeness that awaits within your copy of Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge, all you need to do is read the box:

"Two thousand years in the future, mankind fights against an ancient enemy! Gir Draxon, Overlord of the Arcturan Empire, has returned with a mysterious Warplink capable of funneling his Death Cruisers from distant worlds.......With Draxon's Revenge, the awesome 3DO system engages you in a complete Sci-Fi battle experience!........Feel the smoothness of control! Shake to the thunder of her firepower! Battle sweeping attacks of enemies so real, you'll need sunblock to prevent blaster burn!"

That's seriously the best review on the back of a box.. ever. And that's just a taste of what makes Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge so great. Is it the best game on the 3DO? Not by a long shot. In fact, it's gameplay is only best in short bursts. But it's the entire package that makes this title stand out in your collection.

Gameplay is very similar to Atari's Battlezone. In fact, other than the graphics, endless unique enemies, and speed, the game is nearly a blatant rip-off. Your dashboard's radar will show you enemies, enemy fire and obstacles with ease. Staying still is a recipe for certain death; speed is your only ally. Hell the game is so awesome, it's own box doesn't recognize "Stellar 7" as part of the title! It reeks of early 90's cheese, and that puts such a huge smile on my face.

Controls are simple and very fluid. Dpad is used to steer, accelerate, reverse, and your face buttons are used to fire your weapon, special weapons and to switch your special weapon load-out. Shamefully, the triggers aren't used. If these were used for strafing, I think the game would have been a perfect title, but you'll have to make due without them. I do wish the dpad was only used for steering instead of acceleration and reverse, but it's a small complaint.

Unlike Battlezone, the game features boss battles. At the end of the level, you'll encounter a 60 ft tall Guardian that's beamed down from a mother ship. Enemies are also varied, including tanks, landspeeders, robot birds, turrets, space craft, etc etc. It's exactly what you'd expect from a "next-gen" Battlezone.

As usual for the system, one of the best qualities of the game is the audio. Voice work is great, music is appropriate, and the sound is crystal clear, crisp and loud. FMV cutscenes are well done, and do well to explain the game's story (albeit needless) before you begin. Graphics are actually something to write home about. Colorful backgrounds, smooth framerates, and great 3D polygonal enemy graphics (for the 3DO) really make this game stand out.

If I had any real complaint, it would simply be how "arcade" like the game is. After a few attempts, you'll be done until another day. There's not much to keep you coming back for hours on end like other games on the 3DO. And while this might be a let down for some, it does what it was meant to do; be a next-gen Battlezone. Battlezone is one of my favorite games of all time, and even with that game I can only play a few rounds before moving onto another title. This is no exception.

But what this game lacks in depth, it excels in character. It's not just the graphics, it's the style. Everything from the back of the box to the cover art, the art direction to the sound work, it all really makes such a unique and memorable experience, you'll want this game in your collection for years to come.

It's not perfect, but it's still as awesome as it's described on the back of the box.

I don't score my games. It's either, Buy, Try, or Pass. Buy this today!
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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by Austin » Fri May 30, 2014 10:56 pm

Wait.. Didn't you just buy this game?

....

How far did you actually end up making it?

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by FZ-10 » Sat May 31, 2014 2:31 am

Austin wrote:Wait.. Didn't you just buy this game?

....

How far did you actually end up making it?

I got to the 4th (I think) level by using the special warp on stage one. Otherwise, despite how many times I play, I can only get to the second level. Still so much fun though :)

It is what amounts to an advanced Battlezone clone. You don't need to play it for a week straight to form an opinion :). Ended up playing it till the early hours of the morning 3 days now, haha. Love it.
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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by Austin » Sat May 31, 2014 3:26 am

FZ-10 wrote:It is what amounts to an advanced Battlezone clone. You don't need to play it for a week straight to form an opinion :). Ended up playing it till the early hours of the morning 3 days now, haha. Love it.
Cool, well post your thoughts when you manage to complete it then, your opinion might change in the process. ;)

PS to all else reading--have you managed to finish this game? What are your thoughts?

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by FZ-10 » Sat May 31, 2014 6:33 am

Austin wrote:
FZ-10 wrote:It is what amounts to an advanced Battlezone clone. You don't need to play it for a week straight to form an opinion :). Ended up playing it till the early hours of the morning 3 days now, haha. Love it.
Cool, well post your thoughts when you manage to complete it then, your opinion might change in the process. ;)

PS to all else reading--have you managed to finish this game? What are your thoughts?
I don't think I'm skilled enough to :P. I know it's not the best game in the world, but it's silky smooth and I honestly just love battlezone. To each their own :P.
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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by Austin » Sat May 31, 2014 5:53 pm

FZ-10 wrote:I don't think I'm skilled enough to :P. I know it's not the best game in the world, but it's silky smooth and I honestly just love battlezone. To each their own :P.
Hm. Maybe in the meantime you should change the title from "Review" to "First Opinion", ha. :wink:

Trev, where are you? 3DO Kid? Did any of you guys complete this game?

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by FZ-10 » Sat May 31, 2014 7:38 pm

Austin wrote:
FZ-10 wrote:I don't think I'm skilled enough to :P. I know it's not the best game in the world, but it's silky smooth and I honestly just love battlezone. To each their own :P.
Hm. Maybe in the meantime you should change the title from "Review" to "First Opinion", ha. :wink:

Trev, where are you? 3DO Kid? Did any of you guys complete this game?

You have to play the whole game to make a review? If that's the case most NES and SNES games shouldn't be touched for reviews. If all I can play are the first 3-4 levels, and I like them, all is good then, no? Does it have a horrible ending or something?
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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by Austin » Sat May 31, 2014 8:04 pm

FZ-10 wrote:You have to play the whole game to make a review? ... If all I can play are the first 3-4 levels, and I like them, all is good then, no? Does it have a horrible ending or something?
If you want your "review" to be a trusted source of information, then yeah, I'd argue completing the game is one of the most important factors. All too often games start well but end poorly for one reason or another. This is crucial to making a statement whether a particular game is indeed worth someone's time in the end, and you will only be able to make a compelling argument for this if you have actually finished the game first-hand and can describe how enjoyable that experience was.

Keep in mind, having an opinion at a certain point is well and good, it's also about classifying a piece of writing properly. Maybe titling it something along the lines of, "My opinions on: Stellar 7..", and make a disclaimer that you haven't gotten very far into the game ("I essentially played a level or two."). This gives the reader a better feeling of where you are coming from, and gives them an idea that there is still uncovered territory, to "travel at their own risk", per-se, if they choose to try the game themselves. I mean, you talk about the visuals, how the game plays, etc., and that's good--but a good beginning (and some good tech) does not inherently make a game good (or recommendable) on its own (Hi BladeForce, I'm looking at you).

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by goldenband » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:15 am

Austin wrote:If you want your "review" to be a trusted source of information, then yeah, I'd argue completing the game is one of the most important factors. All too often games start well but end poorly for one reason or another. This is crucial to making a statement whether a particular game is indeed worth someone's time in the end, and you will only be able to make a compelling argument for this if you have actually finished the game first-hand and can describe how enjoyable that experience was.
^Seconded. I've written a fair number of reviews, and I almost never do so until I've finished a game. I can't count how many times a pretty-good game suddenly tanked towards the end, or a mediocre game suddenly got much better -- or even worse!

Playing through a game start to finish gives me a lot of clarity about a game's strengths, weaknesses, and the relationship between what it's trying to do and what it actually accomplishes/offers. It sometimes makes it tempting to overrate certain games, especially if they're kinda broken and it's satisfying to figure out how to work around that brokenness -- but that's life, and hey, I still hated Jurassic Park Interactive even after I figured out a workaround. :D
Austin wrote:Keep in mind, having an opinion at a certain point is well and good, it's also about classifying a piece of writing properly. Maybe titling it something along the lines of, "My opinions on: Stellar 7..",
How about "First Impressions: Stellar 7"? That'd do the trick, I think.

And just to be clear, First Impressions-style commentary can absolutely have value! It's great to capture the excitement that comes with initially getting into a game, and that positive energy. It's just helpful to know upfront about the reviewer's breadth of experience with a game, just like it's very different getting marriage advice from someone on their honeymoon vs. someone who's weathered 20 years. ;)

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by Austin » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:37 am

goldenband wrote:And just to be clear, First Impressions-style commentary can absolutely have value! It's great to capture the excitement that comes with initially getting into a game, and that positive energy. It's just helpful to know upfront about the reviewer's breadth of experience with a game, just like it's very different getting marriage advice from someone on their honeymoon vs. someone who's weathered 20 years. ;)
I agree 100%! :)

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by NeoGeoNinja » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:47 am

FZ-10! I'm totally loving your burning enthusiasm for the 3DO right now! :D

However, I do agree with Goldenballs and Austin Texas on this one I'm afraid.

You can't properly review a game until you have at least completed it, or seen it through to the later levels/near end really.

I too, think that 'first impressions' etc is a better description for your approach to Stellar 7 here tbh.

I will agree though, that it does feel much easier to surmise more simplistic, earlier gaming experiences as reviews, as often, you most probably feel like you have seen all the game has to offer from the outset...

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by 3DOKid » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:09 am

I'm pleased you liked it mate. I never gelled with the game to be honest, but your review makes me want to back and give it another go :)

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Re: FZ-10's REVIEW: Stellar 7 Draxon's Revenge

Post by Austin » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:06 pm

3DOKid wrote:I'm pleased you liked it mate. I never gelled with the game to be honest, but your review makes me want to back and give it another go :)
I'm more interested to hear your opinions on the game if you end up choosing to revisit it. Especially if you don't like it. :lol:

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